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Musharraf fails to appear in court, Pakistan SC bars him from contesting general elections

Musharraf has been living in Dubai since March 2016, and is wanted in several cases.

New Delhi: After former military ruler Pervez Musharraf failed to appear in court, Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Thursday withdrew a conditional permission for him to contest elections.

Chief Justice Saqib Nisar on Wednesday rebuked the former army chief for “cowardice”, taunting him for not appearing in court and had told him to appear by 2 pm on Thursday.

Musharraf had filed his nomination from the northern district of Chitral after the court last week allowed him to contest the July 25 general election but made it conditional on his appearance before it on June 13 in a case linked to his lifelong disqualification by the Peshawar High Court in 2013.

During the hearing, his counsel Qamar Afzal informed the court that Musharraf, 74, was determined to return but it was not possible for him to come immediately.

“I have spoken to Musharraf, he asks for more time. He plans to come to Pakistan but due to Eid holidays and illness, he can’t travel immediately,” Afzal said.

It prompted the chief justice to adjourn the hearing for an indefinite period, saying the next hearing will be held when the petitioner was ready for it.

“Alright, we’ll adjourn the court hearing till indefinite time period, will hold it on your wish,” the judge observed.

But he ordered to withdraw the conditional permission for Musharraf to contest elections.

Earlier on Thursday, Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) said on Twitter that “preparations for his return were in the final stage”. It was not clear why the plan was changed within hours after it was announced.

Musharraf has been living in Dubai since March 2016, and is wanted in several cases.

(With PTI inputs)

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